Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Open Letter to Kapil Sibal-ji

Dear Kapil Sibal-ji,
This missive is my humble appreciation of the efforts you are taking to improve the education system (which has been pulverised and prostituted by the education mafia) in this country. I also speak as a harried and harassed parent who has spent his entire savings (and that of his wife, a teacher [see the irony?]) on educating the only child he has.

It is good that some sense is coming into the holiest-than-thou system that is under your control. Do you know that to gain admission into a Kindergarten class these days you have to pay a bribe of from ten- to fifty-thousand rupees? And after gaining this admission, the teaching is so poor that our children have to be sent to private tutors at additional expenses?

Do you know that these same schools employ teachers on contract basis for Rupees three thousand a month, and sack them at will if they raise their voices? It worries me that teachers in some private non-government schools virtually work for free; just so because they don’t want to descend to decrepitude sitting at home? Just imagine how a badly-paid, badly-treated teacher would instil learning in students? Badly, no? Could you make it compulsory for teachers to be made permanent after three months? That way schools can’t fire teachers at will.
And this thing about cut off percentages for IIT is bothering me. Why have a high cut off percentage when it’s the talent of the candidate that’s in question. So, okay, agreed, if a candidate goofs at the board examination, couldn’t you give him a chance to make good in the IIT entrance, what say?

I think the grade system is good. It makes students become more creative instead of parroting his lines, and eases the tension in households, already burdened financially because child goes to school. But please, good sir, make it compulsory for teaching to be done in schools and not outside it. I mean let not the responsibility of teaching their wards (as you call them) rest upon the abovementioned parents and their private tutors (who are also a burden on the said harassed parents). Agreed, then? To put it simply (or, as my ilk are likely to say, “zimbly”: teaching to be done in schools by well paid teachers, and strict monitoring should be done by inspectors, without news of their visits reaching cane-wielding, thickly-glassed school managers (I know of certain schools that offer oily gourmet stuff to visiting education officers).

And one more thing, lastly, I might add, make all those exclusive corporate-ised, international-ised schools less elitist and make it compulsory for them to participate in local school events. After all, we aren’t breeding a superior race of students, are we?

Yours truly,
Humble blogger.


Hari Batti said...

Enjoyed this. I think you raise many important issues. Disrespecting teachers is no way to run a school or an educational system. And yes to grades.

John said...

thanks hari!